5 Facts About 'Gone With The Wind' Author Margaret Mitchell

Seventy-five years ago Clark Gable uttered one of the greatest movie lines of all time, 'Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.' 'Gone With The Wind' remains one of Hollywood’s most successful movies in history—and it was based on Margaret Mitchell’s only book.
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Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell, 1920-1935 (Photo: Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Petite but mighty…

Margaret Mitchell stood at 4 feet 11 inches tall, but had considerable strength and was known to lift all kinds of heavy objects with ease.


Mitchell may have written about an era filled with poise and grace, but she lived a life full of mishaps. The list includes three automobile accidents, two falls from horseback, severe burns when her clothes caught fire, and a concussion when a bottle of whiskey thrown by a drunken party guest hit her in the head.

Erotica and Dirty Mouth

Mitchell had a penchant for frequenting “dirty” bookstores and collecting what was then known as “French postcards,” featuring nude models in risqué poses. She was also known for her sharp tongue and salty language, as well as for smoking three packs of cigarettes a day and drinking great quantities of alcohol.

'Gone With The Wind'

Mitchell started writing the book that made her famous out of boredom as she recovered from a leg injury. She had to be goaded into showing it to an editor and was reluctant to have it published. She stated on several occasions that it was “a rotten book” and that she hated the act of writing. Gone With The Wind would be her only novel. She received a Pulitzer Prize for the book in 1937, and it was adapted to film in 1939.

Vivien Leigh

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara in a publicity portrait issued for the film 'Gone with the Wind' in 1939. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

An untimely end…

Margaret Mitchell died on August 16, 1949, five days after she was hit by taxi while crossing Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta. She was 48 years old.